SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After numerous bargaining sessions and mounting pressure from parents and city officials, the union representing San Francisco’s public school teachers and the school district announced Sunday they have reached a tentative agreement on the protocol to return to in-classroom instruction.
The tentative agreement covers educators, custodians, engineers, nutrition services workers, clerks, technology support, administrators, construction craft workers, and others within the San Francisco public school system.READ MORE: Fed Judge in SF Approves $650 Million Facebook Privacy Lawsuit Settlement
A major component of the agreement is a demand that teachers be vaccinated before schools reopen.
“This agreement sets the stage to safely reopen schools in San Francisco,” said usan Solomon, President of United Educators of San Francisco, in a news release. “Now we need city and state officials to step up and make vaccines available to school staff now, while UESF continues to focus on finalizing agreements around classroom instruction, schedules, and continuing to improve remote learning for the students and families who choose not to return even with these standards in place.”
Other key components of the agreement are:
- District-provided masks and PPE for students and staff
- Socially distanced classrooms and workspaces
- Regular and reliable testing for students and staff
- Health screenings
- Ventilation upgrades and monitoring
- Safe and effective enhanced COVID cleaning protocol
- Robust contact tracing and plan with County Department of Public Health
San Francisco city public schools have been in remote learning status since last March, but as the city has emerged from its late winter surge of new cases, demands have grown louder to get schools reopened.READ MORE: UPDATE: Victim, Suspect Identified In Fatal Oakland Park Shooting in Front of Children
On Wednesday, city officials filed a lawsuit against the school district over its alleged failure to follow a state mandate “to offer classroom-based instruction whenever possible.”
City Attorney Dennis Herrera called the school board and district’s reopening plan “woefully inadequate.”
“It’s a shame it has come to this,” Herrera said. “The city has offered resources, logistical help and public health expertise. Unfortunately, the leadership of the school district and the educators’ union can’t seem to get their act together. The Board of Education and the school district have had more than 10 months to roll out a concrete plan to get these kids back in school.”
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said during his weeky COVD-19 briefing on the pandemic that schools in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties can now reopen.
Many school districts in those counties have begun to reopen or will be reopening soon. With the average daily case rate per 100,000 residents for all four counties now under 25 for at least five consecutive days, the state has permitted each county to reopen all K-6 schools if they choose to do so.MORE NEWS: COVID: Youth, Adult Multi-Team Sports Can Resume In Alameda Co., Berkeley
“Various public schools in Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Napa counties have all figured it out,” Herrera said. “Private and parochial schools in San Francisco have figured it out.”